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НАСА против безумия, связанного с календарем майя.("The Time")If you want to see the full hall of the people, openly showing his irritation, just go to the conference of astronomers or specialists in ancient civilizations of Central America and holler it out there: "Apocalypse Maya!"

For years, the idea that December 21, 2012 the Earth will perish in a horrible accident, circulating on the Internet and occasionally POPs up in newspaper articles, books, and even movies. It has become a source of inspiration for many get-rich schemes. Similar situation is observed when the whole world was panic in connection with the so-called "problem of the year 2000", fearing computer failure during the transition into the third Millennium, however, that episode hysteria about near the end of the world, at least, had a very real reasons.

The theory that in 2012, we should expect the Apocalypse, however, is nothing but insanity, zamechena on credulity. Actually, no collision with an asteroid is not expected. The same can be said about the mythical planet Nibiru. Globe nobody is going, tossing, flip upside down, as a Burger on the grill. Full power off for three days also not to be feared. Moreover, contrary to what you may have heard, astrology Mayans never predicted such developments. The idea of the end of the world is so absurd that typing in the search bar of the browser phrase "Apocalypse Maya", you'll find a huge number of different hoaxes and pranks, their will be no less than sites that are serious discussion.

The truth is much more prosaic than the stuff that you want to make believe paranoid like those who wear hats made from foil to protect your mind from external influence. Yes, the Maya was the so-called "long account"calendar, which actually ends December 21, 2012. But the most encouraging feature of all calendars, including the one which was used by the Maya, is that the ending, they always begin again from scratch. The fact that this year is the last in our present calendar, built on the basis of the long account, in no case does not mean that Maya worked on the calendar for next year. As for the planet Nibiru, it is to be feared and do nothing. This myth we borrowed from ancient Sumerians, and in the original prediction was that kind of being free movement planet to pieces scattered by the Earth in 2003. As you might have noticed, nothing like that happened, so the date of the end of the world suffered in the year 2012, combining into one myths concerning collision with the planet and end of the Mayan calendar. Two apocalyptic forecast for the price of one - excellent promotional offer!

Meanwhile, some experts NASA have serious concerns " no, they fear not the approaching end of the world, and the harm that these idle talk can cause mental health of people. "I get a huge number of emails on this subject, " says David Morrison (David Morrison), scientific worker in Astronautics and the employee of the Research center Ames at NASA Ames Research Center), located in the town Moffett field in California, who is leading the Agency's website "Ask an Astrobiologist" (ask astrobiology), people for the most part, asked whether the world will end, and write that they are scared and do not know how to behave. Some even think about suicide."

The idea that people are willing to commit suicide because of some cosmic events that exists only in their imagination, it may seem incredible, but this has happened in the history of mankind. For example, in 1997 in southern California 39 members of the sect "Gates of Paradise" committed mass suicide. This motivated them the next crazy idea in the approximation of comet Hale-BOPP they saw a sign indicating that it is time to leave the physical body. Fearing that people will take the fears associated with the end of the world too seriously, the Agency NASA even organized on November 28, a video conference in the chat "Google+hangout", during which everyone could communicate with six astronomers, ready to tear to pieces any myth circulating in society today. This scientists and practiced for a whole hour, patiently explaining to people that any asteroid from a few weeks journey from Earth, would be seen by telescopes long before his coming. As for theories of planet to Niebuhr, the main advocate of which, incidentally, is a woman who insist that came into contact with aliens from star system Zeta Grid (Zeta Reticuli), then, if this planet is really closer to the Earth, it could be seen with the naked eye, because it would be the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and moon.

Meanwhile, NASA is already several years debunks myths about the end of the world in the same patient manner, trying to appeal to the minds of the people, but no serious changes are yet to be seen. "I was told that about 10% of our citizens believe in this stuff, " says Seth Shostak, member of the SETI Institute, located in the town of mountain view in California, did not participate in the above video is about the same amount of people believe in the existence of Santa Claus, and believe that we never got to fly to the moon".

Attempts to reduce this percentage is, in fact, does not always work, because supporters of the similar myths also bring in proof of his words many "facts". "We have to admit, " says Morrison - what's in our actions there is a contradiction, since scientists first convince people not to believe the theories obtained from the Internet, and then post the information on the network".

"In fact, the problem is, - said during the video conference Andrew Fraknoi (Andrew Fraknoi), Professor of astronomy from the Foothill College, located in the town of Los Altos, California, that in our schools don't teach critical thinking, not taught to distinguish fantasy from reality. The real danger lies in the fact that the level of scientific understanding of these problems in society crane is low".

Today it is still unclear whether distributed rumors to panic or suicide. Only very few of those disturbing e-mail that regularly receives Morrison suggest that the authors can take their own lives, and they sent adults.

Maybe the children, fortunately, and hate suicidal intentions, but many of them are still very frightened, and these fears haunt them for a long time. "Two years ago I spoke with science teachers in high school, " says Morrison - when I asked who of them met students, fearing the onset of the end of the world in 2012, almost all the teachers raised their hands". Well, when on December 21 and nothing resembling a global catastrophe, will not happen, these fears, in the end, will disappear - but they inevitably will arise again in the minds of people at the moment of appearance of new prophecies about the end of the world.

Michael Lemonick
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